I had a good time with Cris Collinsworth. I didn’t think he was God’s gift for analysis or anything. But he showed just enough passion to be lively without being tacky. He didn’t really sound like he was trying to make a Madden impression. And he showed just enough below the surface to be interesting. He didn’t just tell replays, but chose something. I could definitely see why people were getting annoyed, but overall it passed me by.
But last night, I don’t know if it was an NBC directive, if Collinsworth had it in his own head, or maybe he couldn’t see beyond his own chubby Bengal. But my god, what a torture that was when Collinsworth ignored what was really happening on the pitch so he could get to the point where he wanted to make him decide he was going to say Wednesday.
It started, or kicked into 5th gear, in the second half. On Joe Burrow’s touchdown throw to Tee Higgins to kick off the 3rd Quarter, Collinsworth couldn’t wait to tell us how the game would always revolve around whether the Bengals could hit some deep balls against the Rams, how Burrow in his own and this was more Burrow genius, about whether they could beat Jalen Ramsey.
Only he completely ignored the fact that Ramsey was being mauled by Higgins, and it was a blatantly bloated call. Shine over it. This was not a great throw as Burrow threw a ball well enough to a capped receiver who then used Ramsey’s face mask as if he started a lawnmower. It wasn’t a genius game plan. It was a fluke and a mistake by the refs.
When the Rams got the ball back, Collinsworth told us that thanks to Odell Beckham’s injury, the Rams were “completely without weapons.” How so? This is a team that has the best receiver in the game. A team that took four good games out of Beckham after joining halfway through the season when it was already 7-2. This wasn’t some group of sloths and alley rodents that inspired Beckham to get magical. He was an addition, like Tabasco on a pizza.
Of course, the final ride was another chance for Collinsworth to praise the virtues of Cooper Kupp, who had apparently passed away just an hour earlier,
according to Collinsworth’s complaining about Beckham’s absence and the Rams’ apparent helplessness as a result. Or a redemption arc for Stafford, who was basically fine for most of the game and made a decent throw on the final drive. As we discussed, QBs who drove their teams to a score in the last two minutes are now more the norm then heroic.
And that came after Collinsworth tried to replace Mike Brown’s skybox seat with his own tongue. It would be hard to find a Bengali fan who wouldn’t dump their beer over Brown’s head or fart in his face if they could. Brown is arguably the biggest reason the Bengals have been one of the league’s bigger punchlines for most of their history, and he will be when they return to the land of wind and ghosts once again.
You expect us to just swallow this shit?
I realize that these days this has become all football coverage, and really sports coverage as a whole as the football schedule for one game, every game is a referendum on something that we’ve been talking about all week. Nothing just happens on Sunday and just sits in it. This is either Matt Stafford’s rise to become the new Ares, or he was always responsible for Detroit’s inability to fully recover as a city. They had decided that this was Joe Burrow’s coming out party or that he would be sent off as part of his redemption arc should he ever return to this stage. And nothing would stand in the way of that.
In any case, it’s over, and we won’t have to hear such a collection of whining again until September. Hopefully that’s long enough for a break.
And now the final word on why a Rams championship doesn’t evoke any emotion anyway: